kmdigital, March 27, 2009 11:00:23 PM CET
This Providence-Let Down Directed By-Kevin Maistros
holy shit kev - do something real darn quick or... watch the house come down...
I like how it starts with ""Here is a bit of background on Kevin..." and then proceeds to give a longer bio than most presidents get at their own personal libraries.
Also worth noting: Puddle of Mudd is "long-time success rockers."
talk about shooting yourself in the foot...in the third person too.
i could do a PHD in kevin from that blurb
Ha ha ha!! Kevin, you're too funny.
this video makes no sense, is poorly directed, and overkill. not to mention, this song is horrible. a total letdown.
"Perhaps Kevin has become most known for stretching the boundaries of the music video by employing the latest technological advances in cinema before any other."
They say "Perhaps" since they wouldn't want to be too presumptuous.
Prog, can I vote for this bio as an entry in this month's video digest?
Thats crazy, I didnt know Kevin is from Cleveland. This whole time I thought he was from Detroit.
I agree with decoy. I'm reluctant to ever post negative comments but I can easily say this was the biggest waste of my day. I expect to come to this site and check out videos and I'm sad instead to see this site hijacked by this LAME-ASS PR SPAM. No one cares if you "shot over the edge of a smoking volcanic crater at the top of Mount Nicaragua to operating a Steadi-Cam from the skids of an open-helicopter." Keep it brief next time Kev.
my favorite phrase: "under the guidance of Dick"
what a piece of shit. horrible song.
also: "In 2007, Kevin became the first filmmaker to shoot an entire music video in reverse slow motion without cutting. "
Um... see Pharcyde (Spike Jonze) and Jack Johnson, and that's just off the top of my head.
L O FUCKING L!!! Kevin you a bummy ass ugly lookin motherfucker. You haven't learned shit from the be-mag days have you. This kid got run out of the rollerblading industry because he thought he was too cool for school and ain't a damn thing changed. You make RAGE look humble. Antville is what it is because everybody here grasps the whole "let your work do the talking" concept. Take that 'about me' shit back to myspace. Fuckin fruit.
'letdownvideo.com' quite an apt url.
You sound extreme Kevin, I bet you drink Powerthirst
Oh, could this be part of an elaborate joke? don't hate on publicity...but the mind wonders what was going through his head. It's the thought of "if you believe in your greatness, others do will too". I judge a book by it's cover.
Well I can say "i'm the greatest video director since sliced sandwish" and who's to stopping me? maybe that's what was going on...
never thought i could have so much fun on antville
Can't wait to read about how Kevin dealt with being forced to wear a veil and a burka while filming Puddle of Mudd in Iraq and Kuwait.
i've got a sneaking suspicion this is only in b&w cause they couldn't get the grade right.
oh, and btw: holy shit there's no mercy in this place. this guy's a real human being like all of us (except legion of course). just sayin' that cause i don't want the poor guy to develop a complex and hang himself from a c-stand.
oh, and oh one more thing: what's up with these young directors now that seem like they're more interested in PR than the work?
why thank you
i know im a unique snowflake etc
Young directors. Same old douche-baggery.
Old (aged?) directors. Same old washed-up ideas and unwarranted entitlement.
While I'm not feeling the work, I can't knock the hustle and self-branding.
With anybody who enters a contest able to call themselves a music video director these days, it's gonna take more and more to standout besides just the work.
As much as people want to laugh at Robby Starbuck's myspace (myself included) it looks like he has a pretty full shooting schedule coming up, so someone is taking notice.
P.S. - This video definitely should have been in color.
@fungible - He said "without cutting". As in no edits.
just a tidbit of insider info...Atlantic and Providence absolutely abhorred this video. inspite of that Mr. Maistros still goes tooting his horn and pushing his CV on all us antvillers.
and in Maistros defense, the original budget was 7k range.
Shame on you Atlantic
and shame on you Mr. Maistros for such blatant (and unwarranted)self promotion.
@rza - What's odd is that Kevin Maistros did NOT post this video, or his bio here on Antville. In fact, all of March 27th, 2009 he was busy, on set, doing another video.
We're all a bit puzzled as to why this Antville entry is tagged as posted by "kmdigital", one of his older aliases, online.
With regards to his bio, it wasn't written by him so you can stop chiming in on the "self-promotion" tips. Funny, though.
Well, first of all - I didn't post this here. I guess I'm flattered that someone took the time to post as me. Not sure if it was some joke or not. I can definitely see where some of the humor went in the replies. From what I can tell it seems an old bio (Note: not "Auto-Bio") of mine was posted with the video?
Yes, it's important that when you're either representing yourself or being represented that your work, and yourself, get pushed very hard. Writing on videos is a contest as it is, much less even getting the videos to write on.
About the video, this is far from what it was intended to be. I was asked to do a lot of effects work on the video and spent a month going through the video frame by frame. In the end, the band "didn't like it" and so they used the out of camera version. By the time my cut was done, it was already past the label's release timeline and they asked for the video as is. I gave it to them, didn't have time to finish the non-effects version with my choice of coloring and -- as a result, from what I was told by Atlantic, the band wanted it in black and white. Not entirely sure who's choice it was to hit the greyscale button on the video instead of making it a nicer black and white but hey -- it's their video.
Honestly, I would have preferred to take my name off it if it weren't being hyped so much that I could use it to lead into another project. After all, one thing (usually) leads to the next.
Bit of advice to anyone thinking about getting into music videos: Don't.
Kevin, you're such a fucktard.
Wow. Antville really is filled with a bunch of dicks these days. I could care less about the video, but the posts around here seem to have degenerated into either pandering to pals, political jostling, or straight up flames. Gone are the days of insight or intelligence.
So, if I got this straight. Someone posing as the director posted a frankenstein cut that was done by the label, then posted some hyperbolic bio that the director didn't write (anyone ever read the Flynn bios?). That's quite a hatchet job folks. Why do we all accept that jonwatts isn't Jon Watts but Kevin gets called a fucktard? Lame
"Bit of advice to anyone thinking about getting into music videos: Don't"
Kevin, I don't know you from Adam, but yeah. No money, no time, slagged off on a message board ('community') and your boss is band (ouch) and what you make has absolutely zero cultural value.
Sometimes I wish I was www.mvdbase.com
so why was the BIO removed from the post?
are they a Maistro lover or hater?
doesn't make sense to me.
The real story here is that this is a band on a major label with a budget of 7k for their music video. To put that in perspective, there are local used furniture stores making commercials with bigger budgets than that.
Good point. And that is probably because you can make more money selling fire engine beds than you can selling music from a small band like this.
Most major labels don't have money to spend on developing bands anymore. Sub-labels that are owned by majors are running on budgets that barely employ the people who work there full-time, never mind the bands themselves (who often go without tour support these days). There is no money for videos.
nor for buying music
good thing with the torrent sites, tho
Honestly, if ATLANTIC RECORDS can't afford to give you tour support or decent promotional tools (both seem pretty basic), what's the point of signing to any record label anywhere?
You really are clueless about how the recording industry works, aren't you. And about how to interpret english. :)
I've seen nothing from you but a series of ill-informed and poorly constructed critiques of "record labels". Go learn something about how it works, then come back and speak with a modicum of experience, rather than a whole lot of conviction with nothing to back it up.
I'll throw some numbers at you on production costs if you like; maybe it'll wake you up to reality.
(And just so you know, they are on Fueled By Ramen. Distributed by Atlantic. Go ask the guys who run the label just how much money they are bathing in and rolling blunts with).
Well then, fill me in smartypants. If a label doesn't have the money to do anything for a band, what is the benefit of a label deal for the band? Seems pretty simple to me.
who the fuck cares how label records work?
and, besides, what the fuck does a record label guy doing on a directors site anyway? especially given there is no money for videos? on the lookout for 'will-work-for- food' people, familiar?
The bottom line is this:
Record labels, need to take a serious look at the "contracts" they're putting out to music video makers. As it stands, and as it has been for some time, the only benefit to making a music video is that you, as the director, get paid a large fee - one time - as a "work made for hire".
Now, they're still doing that, but they're only giving out just barely enough funds to make the video possible in production. My budget for letdown, while I won't be specific in the number, wasn't even the 7k mark someone mentioned earlier.
They needed the video done with less than two week's notice, on virtually no money, in Seattle (Anyone else would have eaten the budget just to travel out here +stay), before the band left for tour. I don't think anyone else would have taken the job. Had I known they were going to hijack the video this badly, I wouldn't have done them the favor.
There are only two things that really bug me about this. First is that, I'm not allowed to upload my own version of the video. Second is that they're now selling the video online for $1.99 and This Providence has hundreds of thousands of fans on MySpace alone - do the numbers.
If record labels are going to sell the videos, they should stop trying to screw over film makers and offer them points on the sales to make up for the falling budgets.
Post your version! It doesn't sound like you'll be working for Atlantic anytime soon. Fuck em
nah, don't post your version.
have an intern 'leak' it.
"who the fuck cares how label records work?
and, besides, what the fuck does a record label guy doing on a directors site anyway? especially given there is no money for videos? on the lookout for 'will-work-for- food' people, familiar?"
This is the kind of bullshit response that has resulted in the mess we're all in right now. Guys like budget and legion not only talk loads of uneducated shit, they do so with such conviction as to make some people buy into it.
OK budget, let me break it down for you in small numbers so your brain can wrap it's remaining neurons around it:
Let's go ahead and press up 1,000 copies of a record on vinyl, because that's what a lot of "indie" bands want these days. That'll set you back around $4000.
Wholesale on each album is $8. That is, you sell the album to your distributors for $8.
Of that $8, you - as the label - typically see between 30 and 60%, depending on the deal you have with your bands. The business being what it is today, the deals vary wildly. Let's be pragmatic and say it's a 50/50 split. Let's be extra nice and say your deal results in the label recouping their cost before the split takes place.
"Oh, but Familiar, you only need to sell 500 records to make your money back and the rest is profit!". No, you're wrong, dumbass.
Marketing (that is, a company who will get the word out, and help get the band noticed) will cost you about $1000/month for three months (if you get a deal). Radio promotion is another $1000/month, but you can get away with only doing that for a month or two. Let's say two, because you really want to do something nice for the band.
Your costs are now up at $9000, and that is with NO ADVERTISING, NO VIDEO, NO WEBSITE, NOTHING.
OK, let's see how these profits work out.
We've sold the 500 records and are now flush with our band. We still have to make up a $5000 deficit in basic marketing and radio promotion. We are at our split, so we get $4/per album sold.
How much is that, budget? That's 500 x 4 = $2000.
Oh, what, we just pressed 1000 albums and LOST $3000.
Where are we gonna find that $3000? Digital sales? Maybe. But it's a "good thing there are torrent sites" to fuck the band and label out of a good portion of that.
Touring, merchandise, and publishing can potentially close your deficit, or give you a positive return. I've simplified things a good deal here (since, well you seem straight up dumb), but this is roughly how it works.
Now, extrapolate those numbers out; as you increase your sales, so your potential profit increases, but so does your investment risk.
Bottom line: Most of the bands that you see videos for have done it on a shoestring, label or not, because most labels have no money, and if they have any resources built up, those are dwindling fast.
I would also like to point out that it has been statistically proven that the number of fans you have on Myspace does not correlate to an increase in sales of any kind. So you can throw that argument out, Kevin. Sounds like you got screwed (by the label, by a couple cunts on this board, and by the band), but don't think for a second that anyone is making a mint off your video (and if they are, go get yourself a lawyer).
EDIT: For every Animal Collective there are tens of thousands of bands who fail miserably on a financial level. It's rare - very rare - for a band to succeed to the point of making any sort of serious profit. Once the numbers move into the tens of thousands (within the space of a few months, not over the course of years) you can start thinking about low-budget music videos. But until you're some crap like the Kaiser Chiefs or Lily Allen, your budgets are going to suck. And even then, it's time to start saving, not spending. Economic reality, here we come.
yeah, but, I thought cows didn't eat chickens. That's what we're talking about right?
At least someone around here has a) a sense of humor, and b) the ability to use it. (PS: Your pals in White Denim are playing with one of our bands soon).
"...Radio promotion is another $1000/month, but you can get away with only doing that for a month or two. Let's say two, because you really want to do something nice for the band.
Your costs are now up at $9000, and that is with NO ADVERTISING"
I beg your fucking pardon? No, I don't. Because you simply don't know what advertising is to begin with; radio promotion = ATL promotion = advertising, ma friend.
But I won't get into details. All I'm trying to say is if you as a label can't look at usd 9k as an investment, then you're dirt poor. Or some cheap cunt.
As for digital sales, say you work with INgrooves and they try their best to distribute your unique-sound indie shitty band (very different from, quote, 'shit like Lily Allen', because, isn't that so, all things that went mainstream are shit in your biased opinion). But you're still wary of the people that might steal your shitty band's music off the internets oblivious to the fact that music piracy does in some instances increase album sales.
It's a very simple mechanism - you don't want to pay between 4 and 14 quid - depending on the store it's being sold in - on a new album by a new artist you've never heard of before, so you download illegally his OPUS, give it a listen and then decide if it's worth buying it.
But this I repeat only applies to obscure bands released under obscure labels; if it's your favorite artist's new release you buy it unconditionally.
You don't know the difference between servicing radio stations and advertising, and that is what you chose to harp about? You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. End of story.
(Also, since you are reading impaired, I shall repeat: "Let me break it down for you in small numbers so your brain can wrap it's remaining neurons around it." [ ... ] "Now, extrapolate those numbers out; as you increase your sales, so your potential profit increases, but so does your investment risk.")
Too many parents are buying their kids computers and not blocking adult sites these days, it seems.
There's a metaphor for what's going on somewhere in these ads:
..Although maybe not so serious.
How about that?
Where'd that happen?
Eh, found it.
Yes, details here. Royalty free, too! ;)
familiar, the main idea is this - if you and your (hm, let's call it) label cannot afford 9k to promote a band - via radio play and word of mouth - i am more than willing to lend you a coupla thousands so that you feel like a real business owner.
because an artist you are not, we've already decided that. and judging by the time and energy you put into arguing over the internet, i can only hope that you have some partners who run the business for you. so that, at some point in time, you can afford the luxury of a low budget video.
till then, piss off.
Anyway, I don't want to insinuate that I'm defending Fueled By Ramen here; they aren't unsuccessful by any means (that is to say, they had some pop-punk wins in the past), but the decision to not invest money in a band like this, at this point, is not a bad one. They have their sure bets who should have their own budgets (Panic At The Disco, for example), but this? No. For a label to risk spending tens of thousands of dollars on a band like This Providence would be nothing but a bad idea.
Legion: The social image you project is the equivalent of a French Poodle. Good luck out in the wild.
@familiar - te pupa tata, ma duc pe plaja.
do it, senile - bonus points for reconstructing the original post's bio. it started off like this:
"Here is a bit of background on Kevin... He is in his 9th year of film production, 11 years now, with graphic/art design. And has a client list that ranges from EA Games to the Suicide Girls with a little bit of everything in between."
oh, wait - here 'tis (thx intarwebs):
"Kevin Carl Walter Maistros, born in Cleveland, Ohio, has found himself immersed within the music, film, fashion, and entertainment industry since the early age of 14. Now at the helm of a fully functional media development company, he has become widely known and recognized for his unique artistry and innovative approach. He has worked with such artists as Anberlin, Angels and Airwaves, The Audition, Copeland, Emery, The Forecast, Jupiter Sunrise, MAE, The Movielife, Mute Math, My Chemical Romance, New Atlantic, This Providence, Puddle of Mudd, Saosin, Shadows Fall, Staind, Story of the Year, UnderOATH, Yesterday's Rising, and ZAO.
Influenced heavily by his family and their own history in entertainment, Kevin gained early access to this creative outlet. His grandmother, Lynette Maistros, a well-known theatrical director and actress, involved Kevin in various productions throughout his childhood. More significantly, his great-grandfather, Sherllie Braithwait, was the very first art director in motion picture history, who worked with Edison and the Lumire Brothers on the first moving pictures. It would be no surprise that his interests took to directing film later on.
Maistros began his work as an artist and fashion designer in the professional skating industry. Kevin toured around the country making skating documentaries with his friends and fellow skaters while working for Fiction Clothing, the original apparel brand based in rollerblading, under company founder, Chris Garrett. Maistros developed the entirety of Fiction’s visual content (from in-store displays to t-shirt designs to logos) and it was later with Garrett that Kevin helped found the Rolling Foundation Competition Circuit (RFCC), a professional skating competition series, and began touring around the US full-time.
It was on this tour that Kevin realized his childhood interests could reach fruition. He was introduced to renowned music video director, Nigel Dick, who was shooting a live performance video for the rock band, Staind. Nigel was unfamiliar with a new digital camera he was using for B-Roll while on the road with the band. This was the same camera Maistros was using for his early skating films, and was asked for advice by Nigel. The two stayed in brief contact after this meeting, and under the guidance of Dick, Kevin began creating countless music videos for unsigned artists, often with no budget, in order to hone his skills and showcase his talent. It was this freedom from commercial influence and censorship that allowed Kevin to cultivate his personal process, style, and vision as a director.
Kevin holds that this vision extends far past the music video itself, and into creating immersive, best-of-breed experiences that encompass all forms of media, which not only fits the artist, but also gives them a broader stage to communicate their message. These prolific ideals extend the value of his productions countless times over, and are currently unmatched by any other traditional production company in the music video industry.
Perhaps Kevin has become most known for stretching the boundaries of the music video by employing the latest technological advances in cinema before any other. Kevin has helped to design and test some of the most sought-after technological developments by independent filmmakers. In 2003, Kevin worked with Canon and P+S Technik to ensure the Mini-35 adapter, a tool that allowed low-cost digital video to have the same aesthetic elements of expensive 35mm film, was compatible with the release of their XL-2 model camera. Later, in 2006, Maistros helped develop and test a more improved adapter with Jonathan Houser, later to be released as the Cinemek. Kevin used these products on several videos ahead of their release to the public, giving him the means to create, on a low budget, technical masterpieces previously unseen.
In 2007, Kevin became the first filmmaker to shoot an entire music video in reverse slow motion in one single take. The video, created for the side-project act of Puddle of Mudd guitarist, Christian Stone, was made with the singer performing backwards and at two and a half times the normal speed of the song, in order to achieve the desired effect.
Kevin is also experienced through the realm of more traditional cinematography. In February 2004, Kevin traveled to the country of Nicaragua to produce, direct, and shoot various themes and locations for commercial, tourism, and development spots. During this time he was often shooting underwater, in dangerous locations, and in the air. Having shot over the edge of a smoking volcanic crater at the top of Mount Nicaragua to operating a Steadi-Cam from the skids of an open-helicopter, Kevin has always been driven to capture nothing less than the shot he desires. Still to this day, Maistros insists on shooting at least some part of his videos. This habit leaves a personal stamp on his work which has become recognizable to many.
In 2008, Kevin produced and directed a series of film spoofs, collectively titled "Golden Popcorn" for the 2008 Mtv Movie Awards. Later, in June of 2008, he continued to employ the newest camera technology, bringing the RED One camera, which shoots at 3 times the size of HD, to Kuwait and Iraq during his production for long-time success rockers, Puddle of Mudd. He spent 3 weeks in the middle east with the band, directing a music video for their song titled, "Thinking About You" for Universal Music Group/Geffen Records.
In 2009, he produced and directed the "Let Down" music video for This Providence on Warner Music Group/Atlantic Records/Fueled By Ramen. The video was shot entirely in one take using the RED One camera on a SteadiCam system. Boasting a film crew of 60 with an addition of over 100 uniquely talented extras, this video is already anticipated to be a landmark in modern music videos. The video itself is a perfect composition of zestful adventure, coupled with quirky humor, and remnants of a vivid musical. The video is being released in early March, 2009."
hold on - wasn't this bit in there too?
"Kevin's new video for This Providence - "Letdown" on Fueled by Ramen Records was successfully shot on Saturday, January 31, 2009 in Seattle, WA. Boasting a film crew of 60 with an addition of over 100 uniquely talented extras, this video is already anticipated to be a landmark in modern music videos. The video itself is a perfect composition of zestful adventure, coupled with quirky humor, and remnants of a vivid musical. Productions of this nature are, to many, what would seem to be a forgotten item of the past -- having been lost from the days of directors such as Spike Jonze.
Kevin said, "I wanted to remind people that there can still be passion and art in music videos. I've noticed a steady decline in the 'old greats' as videos have gradually become trite, commercialized, and repetitive. Music is still an art in it's finest form and I stepped into this profession assuming films were the same, especially when made to reflect the music."
The music video for "Letdown", the first single from This Providence's new record "Who Are You Now?" is expected to be released by Fueled by Ramen Records shortly before the album's release date of March 17, 2009. It is also reported that many "Behind the Scenes" peaks will be published leading up to the video's release."
Definitely classic post.
I'd never heard of This Providence or Fueled By Ramen, but to me $7,000 seems like a realistic budget for a band like this.
The problem seems to be that Kevin didn't do a good job managing the label/bands expectations and the reality of the budget.
Somehow you let the label think they were going to get a one shot video with 100 extras and a crew of 60, that is reminiscent of Spike Jonze and delivered in 2 weeks with an effects team of one person.
I applaud your ambition Kevin, but that doesn't really seem feasible.
The main thing that was lacking in the video to me was the location. It just wasn't very exciting, but again that's a reality of the budget.
All in all I'm sure you learned some valuable lessons for the future through this project.
And really you should post your version cause I'm curious what was done frame by frame.
love that bio. if he didnt write it, i bet it was his mom.
@fam: is it Japandroids? GIve those boys in White D a big ol sloppy kiss and a tap to the nuts for me.
bio was written by Krystyna Langsen
wow, theres a behind the scenes too...
My final verdict: Everyone is at fault.
Kevin Maistros is at fault because he over promised. Does a band like This Providence need an epic music video with 100 extras and a crew of 60? Not on a budget of (less than!) 7k. What they really need is a decent looking performance video where the band looks cool. There were probably other directors who pitched manageable treatments, but Kevin won because he promised the moon.
The label is at fault because they let Kevin try his foolish idea. If they wanted to be smart with their (paltry sum of) money, they would have gone with something much simpler, but instead they let themselves get talked into something retarded and hoped for a miracle.
Furthermore, the label is at fault for even trying to make a video for that little. The chances of a (less than!) 7k video being good enough to represent a band on the same label as Panic At The Disco and Paramore is laughable. It's also mean to the enthusiastic director and crew who end up taking the job. My mom used to say, if you can't afford to tip, don't go out to eat; If you can't afford to make a real music video, don't try to cobble one together out of pocket change.
But it's also the crew's fault for enabling Kevin's outsized ego and ridiculous ideas by volunteering to (presumably) work for free. What was this 60 person crew collectively thinking, and what producer ever decided to give this the ok without having a heart to heart with the director?
Familiar is at fault because he has a huge chip on his shoulder, and just enough knowledge of the music industry to be a belligerent jerk. He's mean and weird, and there's no excuse for that.
@birds: Indeed it is. I shall see that your affections are passed along.
@budget: Yawn. You're still talking out your ass. Sorry. Bands on the same label will receive vastly different budgets and types of support. Just because you are on the same label with a band that does sales in the hundreds of thousands does not mean you are given the same leeway in terms of expenditures, or expected to produce similar results (with your videos, ticket sales, or album sales). I am actually not a jerk. I just dislike misinformation disguised as idealistic truisms.
Re: The "real music video" comment - your horse is ridiculously high.
fam, i don't think it's news to anyone on this site that different bands have different expectations/budgets/label support. If that's the point you're wanting to make, consider it taken. But we aren't talking about some underground noise rock band and whining that they should have the same budget as Usher. This is a group of handsome kids making accessible pop-punk music on a label that's known for breaking acts that make gold records. Atlantic Records has a deal with them because it's implicit that they're trying to sign bands that will go far. The very fact that they're releasing a single and making a music video at all is a sign that they see this band as a possible moneymaker. So why the piss-poor investment? I could understand if either a) the band was something unmarketable to large audiences, or b) the label was some guy in his garage without access to any cash. I don't see either condition in this situation.
Well that's just it: Most labels aren't taking risks anymore, and this band - regardless of the pedigree of the other bands on their label - are a risk. They are middle-of-the-road indie-pop. This is their third album; their others haven't exactly made them a household name.
You can call them a "developing band". There is a very good chance they'll never go anywhere. Back in the day, major labels would happily dump cash into these failed exercises, but that really isn't happening the way it used to.
Cash flow between a major label and a sub-label is also not as simple as all that. In some cases, the sub-labels are pitted against each other in a fight to secure dwindling budgets from their major label benefactors. As a result, what money they do get goes to the sure bets these days. Panic At The Disco and Paramore will sell you records for sure (less records than before, but still).
As a result, you get $7000 video budgets for bands like this. And truth be told, they should be happy to have anything at all these days. Jumping up and down and saying ten grand ain't nothing (as Legion did) is disgusting, and it is - unfortunately - the result of growing up in a society that has shot itself in the foot.
(Also: The reason behind majors labels buying up independent labels varies depending on the specific relationship you're talking about. In some cases, it's for a specific band. In others, it's for a roster of developing bands. It could also be for tax reasons, or for the sake of manipulating earnings. Then there are personal favors, and deals made on the director's couch. So I wouldn't make any presumptions).
"As a result, you get $7000 video budgets for bands like this. And truth be told, they should be happy to have anything at all these days. Jumping up and down and saying ten grand ain't nothing (as Legion did) is disgusting, and it is - unfortunately - the result of growing up in a society that has shot itself in the foot."
I follow your line of logic all the way up to this conclusion, which I disagree with. In your mind, healthy budgets are connected with wasteful spending. In reality, music videos are always expensive propositions. Trying to get a talented crew of people together to accomplish a difficult task in a limited amount of time is never cheap. Asking someone to make an entertaining music video with less than 10k is the same as asking someone to buy a good car for 500 dollars or build a good house for $1000. Sure, those are relatively large sums of money, and they are better than nothing, but they aren't enough to truly pay for the service being rendered. To accomplish a good music video for that amount requires sacrifice from the crew (probably working for free), the production company (probably waiving their % in order to help the production along), and the director (probably sacrificing a month of their life to make it happen and not getting paid). Those are the realities. Until the labels/bands/fans start to lower their expectations (and as evidenced by the band going with Kevin's treatment in this situation, I'm guessing that's not happening) or we figure out how to make watchable music videos for free, someone is going to pay the price. 5 years ago, it was the labels, today it's the creatives.
when the moon was gone, and the hour was none, familiar wrote: "Jumping up and down and saying ten grand ain't nothing (as Legion did) is disgusting, and it is - unfortunately - the result of growing up in a society that has shot itself in the foot."
you didnt quote me properly; i said look at it as an investment that doesnt necessarily have to pay off/ back IMEDIATELY.
you'rew far more knoledgeable than me with regard to thmusic industry, there's no denying that, but if you music industry people cannot afford ten grand - that is almost 7k euros or 6,5k quid, then it's a very very very poor industry. you do realize - hopefully - that there are directors (not me, of course) whose rate cards are way bigger than a mere ten grand and even the most obscure ones can make this money workin on 2 or 3 or 4 commercials.
i still dont know what is the point im trying to make here other than 10 grand is not too much money unless you're a cheap cunt. and other than that thank god i never made it and never will make it as a music video director - i dont have to cope with this kind of tight-fisted bastards.
And furthermore, you can forgive directors if they're skeptical when labels make all kinds of excuses about low budgets. Knowing the numerous ways that labels have ripped off artists since their inception, it's difficult to believe that some of these budgets are truly the result of a lack of funds, and not just a clever way to increase their margins at the expense of the director.
Nobody is arguing that this video was too ambitious for the budget (it clearly was). And I do understand what you guys are saying. But a few points:
"Asking someone to make an entertaining music video with less than 10k is the same as asking someone to buy a good car for 500 dollars or build a good house for $1000."
I disagree. I just think the way the videos are being made needs to change. I've worked on videos done for under $30k, and worked with directors who have done some for under $10k. Of course - in terms of being on-set - we were at more interesting locations, and got more than a couple granola bars when the budget wasn't very low, but the production itself was completely different. I think I've mentioned this before, but when dealing with very low budgets, you need a paradigm shift in approach. As a director, if you want to make it a financial win, you need to take on a lot more; have the ability to do much of the work yourself.
Of course there are directors who won't get out of bed for less than $30k a day for themselves, but those guys can go ahead and focus on the flailing top 5% of the market where the people commissioning the videos can afford to pay them their rates. Or keep making commercials.
I can think of a few people who I could give $12k-$15k to, and have them produce a great piece over the course of a couple months. No, they wouldn't have a crew, no they wouldn't have expensive equipment. But they would have some great ideas and the means to execute them. My (distant) background is in animation, so I am not thinking of a traditional video.
And legion, the music industry operates much the same way as many other capitalist ventures. There are a few folks who are very very rich, a shrinking middle-class, and a majority of "poor folk" who are scrambling to make ends meet. The middle-class are getting more financially conscious, and trying to find alternate means for promotion that won't cost them their livelihood.
Budget, name names: Which are the labels you're talking about who want to screw directors out of money? Because they really deserve a kick in the balls.
This is such a great conversation. Who knew such a video would strike a chord with people to say things so filled with so much good commentary?
I wonder what Kevin Carl Walter Maistros did to piss off Krystyna Langsen...
budget said: "Asking someone to make an entertaining music video with less than 10k is the same as asking someone to buy a good car for 500 dollars or build a good house for $1000."
familiar said: " I disagree. I just think the way the videos are being made needs to change."
well familiar ma friend you go and disagree all you like but budget's got a point here. as long as you aint one of yer faymous computer wizz freinds who can go an tinker away at their computers for 2 months for a mere usd 430 (like them radar budgts, say), then for a live action video you still need peoples and peoples au nevoie de bani sa se miste, fratyoare, asa cum ma$inile au nevoie de ben$ina dimineata, pentru caci acey bany ey iy pun in inqiyriat echypament vydeo. asa ca asta cu paradigma schimbarii nu mi se pare decit o basina obosita si populista, kantaowraa syn iyng bao
now, as regards stories and rants about them mean labels, let me tell you one. i am not 100% positive its true, im just telling it as i heard it - say a band on the dfa records roster, lets name it shoking pinks, want to use this grl in one of their vids. not only was she supposed to act pro bono, but also to book her own flight ticket all the way to fuckin ny and make her own living arrangements & shyt. and this gets me thinkin - whats wrong with the music industry people. do they really think that everybody OWES em somethin?
and last and least, do you make all those websites for free?
the music video industry is so grim
Legion, I think you need to check yourself.
I know the goings on at DFA well enough to tell you that what you just said is a great example of why I have called you an entitled brat who has no concept of: a) the value of money, b) economic reality, c) typical sales numbers for a guy like Shocking Pinks and what those numbers afford an artist of that nature.
While budget has a solid grasp on reality and has contributed interesting ideas here, you seem to be living in a world of skinny jeans, scarves in summer, and money from mom and dad. If you are the same person who did the video your name links to, you are also the same person who wrote a poorly constructed article on why "The Rebel Sell" sucks, and how the measure of a man is related to his choice in cigarettes -- without tongue in cheek. I make this guess because of your Romanian epithets.
I see this is as a sad portrait of the modern music video director as haute-bourgeoisie "artiste". Until you gain some self-awareness, your unique ability to say very - very - silly things is only going to improve. This is becoming a circular argument and those are boring as fuck. And you're right, it's Monday and I have better things to do :)
Oh, and YES, I have made some of the websites for free, or at the very least on tiny budgets -- most of the music-oriented ones, actually. When working with people in the music industry, you need to be able to come up with ways in which to fund your creative projects with commercial ones. If you have been doing it long enough, your commercial projects will be for people who don't suck.
my dearest familiar - the ad hominem attacks - my favorite cup of tea.
1. i would be more than delighted to tell you that you got me figured out alright; but, alas, there are some people who read this website and who've met me in person. keep portraying me as a skinny jeans clad hipster who lives off mom & dad's money and you won't be further from the truth. I WEAR BAGGY PANTS and you suck big time at profiling, regret to inform.
2. thank you for looking up my name on the internet, yes, i did write that article - if you insist on calling it that - but it was not an article, mind you, that was more or less the outline of a presentation i had to make in an ad festival. that they chose to publish it, fine by me. i made the presentation based on that 'article', q&a was a bore and then we all went to get piss drunk. this is what happens when you're a commercial director and not a webdesigner-turned-artist-turned-biz-owner. you can write poorly constructed articles and still be looked up to. it's just unfair, i know.
3. the reason i mentioned shoking pinks its not that i think theyre the nxt depeche mode and thus have access to their budgets (no way, jose christ), i only brought them up just to make fun of em - lil band wanna have a video to play with. for that theyre willin to pull such favors as havin people do free stuff for them. fuck em and evrybody like em.
4. i dont care about your websites, i didnt bother to click thru them, i just clicked on weare familiar, went a lil bit sad and then had to close the window, unless my mom and dad caught me surfing sleazy websites and deny mi alimony. my q was rhetorical, there was need for you to retort, thank you.
5. i am not a mv director- i am a COMMERCIALS director who happens to like mvs. and i dont care about contributing intersting ideas here, you poor sap. im just fucking about. at the end of the day, what matters is that youre well catered for and bundled up for a good night's sleep.
Well, next time you look at your baggy jeans in the mirror, think of the douchey image you are projecting on the interweb. Remember, I didn't say you WERE of that ilk, I said you SEEMED TO BE of it -- but such important linguistic distinctions are clearly lost on you, based on the responses you've been writing.
The fact that you sit here telling me that you're looked up to is the first clue that this isn't a discussion so much as verbal masturbation. You aren't listening; you are pontificating and your arguments run back and forth over themselves like your prose.
yes and i am afraid that you aren't too well endowed with what our elders would call an acute sense of irony. i was deriding the fact that my line of work is so shallow that even spoilt brats like me with no more than a coupla tvcs under their belt can be looked up to.
next time, bring a friend and have him translate in standard english my attempts at jokes so we can all have a lapf.
sincerely yours, sonny jim
le: lol, youre editing yer .txt; since we bonded so well today, this is for you mi friend, a lil thingie about projecting imagies from behind your sunnies - www.youtube.com
it starts at 04:06
Yes, Lou Reed is fine and all, but kinda cheesy to hear talk.
You want something that's actually interesting? Try Dylan, as interviewed by Time Magazine. I think you might learn something from this... if you can figure it out.
6 mins, man, its too long, sorry. halfway through it, by the time the original thinker was enlighting us - "knowbody nos nothing, we all think we no things but know we dont" - i got bored with his fishing for words in the word pool (or well of wisdom, call it what you like) and turned it off. maybe next time.
Actually, legion, I was pretty sure you'd miss the point. You are about as old as Dylan was in this interview, and your thoughts roughly as well collected and conceived. He was, however, a musical genius, which afforded him a certain amount of freedom to expound his idealistic ignorance. But ultimately, he was talking shit, which he would later admit. Perhaps you will too :)
Actually, familiar, if you think I'm gonna stand rapt in awe of an Youtube Interview With Bob Dylan and change my life philosophy or way of thinking, you're as dumb as I pretend to be.
"I can think of a few people who I could give $12k-$15k to, and have them produce a great piece over the course of a couple months. No, they wouldn't have a crew, no they wouldn't have expensive equipment. But they would have some great ideas and the means to execute them."
This is problematic for two reasons:
1) No record label would ever agree to more than 3-4 weeks of post-production. It doesn't work with their scheduling. In fact, more briefs than ever are coming through with the "shoot and deliver ASAP" tagline. Videos that are allowed more post time than that are extremely isolated incidents.
2) When you break it down, giving your artist friend several months and 12-15k to make a video isn't the most attractive prospect. If he takes three months to complete it (probably necessary if he's doing it completely on his own), he's making around 3k a month. Subtract materials, equipment, and other expenses he'll run into and he's making even less. Will he do you a solid once? Maybe, but will he want to continue sacrificing months of his life for you on multiple projects? Probably not.
Our label would happily agree to 3-4 weeks of post-production. We know what's coming out at least three months in advance, so planning something like that wouldn't be a problem. I think part of what you're up against may be disorganization in the labels you deal with.
It would be more like, "tell us what you can deliver in (up to) two months for $12-$15k".
I'd also like to quote Alex in this post, who said, "If we had actual money to pay for rent/food/assistants and concentrate on nothing but this, we could have pulled it together in under 30 days."
What they produced was great, and if they could pull it off in a month with two guys as the primary artists, $15k doesn't seem unreasonable to me. I mean, it's not the best budget in the world, but it's enough to pay rent and food, and kick a couple dollars to people who are willing to help out.
(Of course, we rely on favors or grants to pay for videos, since we really don't have the proper budgets otherwise).
(psst familiar - we're actually a guy and a girl. Despite the masculine name, I'm actually a chick.)
But more on topic, I think there are a lot of dogmatic generalisations being thrown around here that are skewing arguments. There are so many different sorts of labels these days, some really *are* willing to allow longer-deadline, more collaborative video work. And there are still so many folks wanting to be music video directors, if you hunt around enough you *can* find someone who will make an amazing work for peanuts.
The problem comes when you assume you can always do miracles on little money - or, like the video above, you over-extend yourself as a director trying to get your big break and impress a label. I have done a *lot* of work for under $5k, and I'm really tired. I'll still do it in the future, but really only for friends' bands.
It's heartbreaking, when as a director one can never seem to even grab a mid-budget, $15-$30k work to keep one's spirits up. That is the thing that will eventually make me stop creating videos.
Alex puts it best when she says "I have done a lot of work for under 5k, and I'm really tired". Favor jobs will get done by talented people only as long as bigger jobs loom in the horizon. No one wants to try to make a living jumping from 10k video to 10k video.
Familiar is talking about an industry where the favor job is the standard. You might get lucky every now and then and find a miracle-worker who's willing to kill themselves for your band, but the turnover rate will be ridiculous when the directors catch on. As the best and brightest move on to better situations, the quality of your videos decline and your investments get riskier.
People should get paid for their efforts -- a sum that is equal to the work put in, if possible. That is not always possible.
I'm going to let this die now, because what I am actually saying isn't getting through. Instead of vilifying labels or "label people" you need to spend more time working with them instead of against them. Or at least, the ones worth working with...
I just think Kevin blagged his way into getting this job by saying he would do it for $7,000 (or less) then managed to get lots of people to work for free (or almost free) by promising them more videos. I have met the guy and he is always self promoting himself, then blaming others when it blows up in his face. He drops names that he is connected with, but when you check his contacts often they are false.
Production companies and rental firms suggest getting your money up front from him. When several people in Seattle asked for money up front, Kevin stopped calling.
There are lots of great directors in Seattle, kevin is not one of them, unfortunately most of the stuff he is done looks like it was made by a 1st year film student.
@SeattlePost - I didn't want to respond to any more of this crap but the way you're opening your mouth, people would need boots to read it. I did suggest that if they did a good job I would bring them on to more videos, and several people who worked on the This Providence video did return to work on the 3 videos I've done since, and got paid. Even up front. I didn't stop calling.
It's important to find a good group of people you can trust to work with. Sorry if you weren't one of them, but I obviously must have made a good judgement call if you're on here posting this sort of bullshit.
Nice try, though.
round 2: www.videostatic.com
I just spent the last 15 minutes getting caught up with all this. I'm going to say my piece and I'm going to ignore all the personalities, the label issues, the epic struggles, etc.
I am going to deal with only two things right now - the video and the budget.
For $7k this video is miles beyond what was deserved.
And now, I'm going to say something about the rest.
Personally, I am sick to death of bands/labels/management trying to get something for nothing. This label has absolutely no right to say anything other than, 'thank-you very much Mr. Director'.
Seven thousand dollars???? Are you kidding me? The work we do costs money to do well and it's insulting, grossly unfair, and extremely ignorant to ask us to do good work with so little.
Indeed, very recently, I had a major label artist's management trying to get me to shoot said artist's latest video for free. Keep in mind this artist's first and second video, off their new album, cost $250k apiece.
F U C K T H A T A N D F U C K T H E M !
Where's the part of Kevin's cv where he claims to be a Navy SEAL?
^oh shit, waded through all that mess. All sounds so familiar, wish that extensive bio was still on here.
I just had to add my two cents.
Three years ago, I met Kevin to work as a possible intern,
even though we didn't work together, I did get a chance to see the music video for let down and was very impressed with his vision.. This was during it's early editing stages before any post production work.
Curious to find out whatever happened to that video I was surprised and saddened with the label and possibly the bands decision to go with a different music video for the same song.
To clarify, the video you see up above is not directed by Kevin!
This music video is just awful compared to kevins and I'm not saying this because were friends, because were not, I'm saying this from another creative directors
That was terrible what happened to you!
I feel your pain with putting so much work into something that couldn't even be used.
I wish you the best of luck on your next video Kev.